Army officials at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, are investigating a viral video that allegedly shows a White male soldier physically assaulting a Black man in his suburb while telling him he "is in the wrong neighborhood, m-----f-----."
"Fort Jackson officials are aware of the video taken in the Summit and it has our full attention," Brig. Gen. Milford H. "Beags" Beagle Jr., commander of Fort Jackson, said in a statement on the base's Facebook page. "We have begun our own investigation and are working with the local authorities. Thank you to the community for bringing this to our attention, and we will get to the bottom of this ASAP."
The viral video shows a large White male following a smaller Black male in a residential neighborhood, telling him to leave the area. The man has been widely identified on social media as an Army noncommissioned officer, but Military.com is withholding his name until it's officially confirmed.
The White man was not in uniform.
In the video, the Black man tells the man to call the police. A White woman standing off to the side says, "Hey, they have already been called."
The soldier then appears to become agitated.
"Walk away right now," he says in the video. "Do you need help? I'm happy to help you."
As the Black man takes a few steps away, the White man shoves him from the side.
"You better walk away! You better walk away!" he shouts in the video, pointing his finger in the Black man's face.
The woman tells the Black man, "You are the aggressor."
The man identified as a soldier shouts again, "You walk away! You are talking to my wife right now!"
In the video, the Black man speaks in a low voice and seems to try to defuse the situation, but he does not leave and continues to face the other man.
"You either walk away or I'm going to carry your ass out of here," the soldier tells him.
The Black man replies, "You better not touch me."
"Or what? What are you going to do?" the soldier taunts. "You are in the wrong neighborhood, m-----f-----. Get out."
The video ends with the Black man appearing to leave the scene.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department tweeted, "We are aware of the disturbing video and have taken this incident seriously."
Beagle said in his Facebook post, "This type of behavior is not consistent with our Army Values and will not be condoned."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.